Tuesday, March 30, 2010

"Daily Mail Baby:" A Vietnam Airlift Story

Above are then-and-now photos of 3 babies airlifted from Saigon to the UK at the end of the Vietnam War. In the middle is Viktoria Cowley who writes in the BBC News Magazine about tracking down other children on that flight and her return to Vietnam:

Thirty-five years ago next month I was plucked from an orphanage in Vietnam and flown 6,300 miles from my birthplace to a foreign country at the behest of a British newspaper.

After years of war, the capital of South Vietnam, Saigon, was teetering as the communist North Vietnamese army closed in.

A mass exodus was under way as thousands feared violent repercussions by the invading troops, and among those helping with the evacuation was Britain's Daily Mail newspaper.

I was one of the 99 babies brought over to the UK on a plane chartered by the Mail - and within 12 months I was living with my newly adoptive family in Eastbourne, East Sussex.

My new family never kept my past a secret and I had been happy with my life as it was. But for years I toyed with the idea of starting a journey into my past. I always knew that searching for information about my history would be a difficult and probably fruitless task.

I didn't know how to go about it so it just seemed easier to ignore it and get on with life. About a year ago, I threw myself into finding and meeting others who had been on the flight to Britain.
Click to read the whole thing -- including reunions with other Daily Mail babies and her visit to Vietnam. And check out the side bar titled, "A Publicity Stunt?" If you're in the U.K., you can watch a video about the "Airmail Orphan."

1 comment:

Von said...

Happened here to, they were airlifted out in the hold of a Hercules in cardboard boxes jammed together.